But What Does He Think About You?

I had an interesting discussion with the librarian on a cruise ship recently. He noticed I’d checked out a book by the one-time atheist and now Oxford professor of theology, Alistair McGrath, entitled ‘The Dawkins Delusion’, a parady on the title of Richard Dawkin’s book, ‘The God Delusion’. He asked me what I thought of the Dawkin’s book and I told him that I thought Dawkins was very selective in his choice of things to condemn, concentrating on the lunatic fringe of religious faith, and seemed totally unaware of what the mainstream was all about. The librarian then became rather irate and said: ‘Do you want to know what I think about God?’ I was a bit taken aback by his vehemence but before I could answer, a man walking past said: ‘I’d be more concerned about what He thinks about you, mate.’
I wish I’d thought of that.

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This entry was posted in Alistair McGrath, Atheism, Faith, God, Inspirational, Religion, Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Trust in God, Wisdom and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to But What Does He Think About You?

  1. Why? It isn’t clever. It’s the same approach as “Believe! Or else…” It’s always amazing how Christians never seem to be able to decide what god they worship… Loving Father or maniac torturer… Seems to change depending on what type of Non-Christian is being spoken to. Whatever it takes, hm?

    • The point of the story is not about ‘believe or else’ but rather an ordinary man’s response to what he perceived to be an angry person’s arrogant dismissal of the possibility that there might actually be an intelligence behind the Universe that is bigger than his own.

      • If I need to see an intelligence bigger than my own, I take a good look around. Chances are, that I see many people who fit that bill.
        And the problem with the response IS, that the man tries to point out that god should be feared. Natural, for Christians, but still nevertheless simply bullying.

      • The idea of ‘fearing’ God that frequently appears in the Bible and is associated with Christianity (as well as other religions) needs to be interpreted in the context in which it is used. It refers to the sense of awe and wonder that produces a reverential fear in the same sense as Rudolph Otto’s famous explanation of religious experience as a sense of the ‘numinous’ – ‘mysterium tremendum et fascinans’ . It’s not about bullying – no more than teaching a child to enjoy the warmth of the sun but not to stare at it is bullying. It’s about sharing an insight into the meaning of our existence.

      • Yeah, sure, that’s why the whole hell thing was invented, right?

      • People always have and always will interpret concepts in the light of the times and thinking of their day, and I certainly don’t subscribe to medieval images of a tri-level universe with a flaming abyss at the bottom. But one thing I do believe is that when you take love and compassion out of life you get a taste of hell, and when you take it away forever that’s where you are.

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